Gov. John Bel Edwards defended his changes to Louisiana’s major industrial tax break program today, telling hundreds of business leaders that the state remains generous and competitive to industry.
The Democratic governor’s comments were made during the keynote address to the all-day business summit his administration put together. He encouraged business leaders to “stay engaged” and offer ideas to his administration.
But Edwards also refused to rollback limits enacted on the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which provides property tax breaks for up to 10 years for manufacturers.
The governor limited the program to an 80% tax break, added local governing authority sign-off for exemptions and required businesses to create or retain jobs with the projects seeking tax breaks.
The changes have provoked criticism from some business groups, especially in Baton Rouge, where the parish public school board recently rejected two ITEP requests from ExxonMobil. Edwards says he’d consider tweaks to streamline the process. Read the full story.